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Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2011 Jun;17(6):861-6. doi: 10.1016/j.bbmt.2010.09.011. Epub 2010 Sep 24.

Prospective assessment of health-related quality of life in pediatric patients with beta-thalassemia following hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

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Bone Marrow Transplant Center, R. Binaghi Hospital, Cagliari, Italy.


Although hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) has been widely used to treat pediatric patients with beta-thalassemia major, evidence showing whether this treatment improves health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is lacking. We used child-self and parent-proxy reports to prospectively evaluate HRQoL in 28 children with beta-thalassemia from Middle Eastern countries who underwent allogeneic HSCT in Italy. The PedsQL 4.0 Generic Core Scales were administered to patients and their parents 1 month before and 3, 6, and 18 months after transplantation. Two-year overall survival, thalassemia-free survival, mortality, and rejection were 89.3%, 78.6%, 10.9% and 14.3%, respectively. The cumulative incidence of acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) was 36% and 18%, respectively. Physical functioning declined significantly from baseline to 3 months after HSCT (median PedsQL score, 81.3 vs 62.5; P = .02), but then increased significantly up to 18 months after HSCT (median score, 93.7; P = .04). Agreement between child-self and parent-proxy ratings was high. Chronic GVHD was the most significant factor associated with lower HRQoL scores over time (P = .02). The child-self and parent-proxy reports showed improved HRQoL in the children with beta-thalassemia after HSCT. Overall, our study provides preliminary evidence-based data to further support clinical decision making in this area.

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